Power to set suffrage rights is RESERVED to States. Enfranchised: able to vote Electorate: potential voting population
OriginallyOnly White, Male, property owners Early 1800sReligious, property, & tax qualifications begin to disappear 187015 th Amendment: removes restrictions based on race/color 192019 th Amendment: removes restrictions based on sex 1960sVoting Rights Act of 1965 enforces racial equality at polls 23 rd Amendment: DC citizens can vote 24 th Amendment: removes poll taxes 1970s26 th Amendment: set minimum voting age to 18 (or less)
BASICS: 1. Citizenship 2. Residence 3. Age But also: Voter Registration (except ND) No conviction of serious crimes No mental incompetence
15 th Amendment(1870) – No citizen may be denied right to vote based on race/color Southern Response in 1870s – Violence, Literacy Tests, Poll Taxes, White Primaries, & Gerrymandering to keep African Americans from voting
1. Civil Rights Act of 1957 2. Civil Rights Act of 1960 Made US Civil Rights Commission to address voter discrimination Gave Attorney General power to legally prevent voter discrimination Created federal voting referees to prevent voter discrimination
The Law Outlawed overly complex voter registration as well as literacy requirements Enforcement relied on judicial action and the use of injunctions —court orders that either force or restrain specific acts. The Aftermath Violent response to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s voter registration drive in Selma, Alabama showed we needed more
Led to end of poll taxes Outlawed ALL literacy tests Mandated preclearance for states where majority of electorate had not voted in 1964 Later amendments extended preclearance requirements to states with language minorities.
MILLIONS choose NOT to vote. Only about 50% voted in 2000 presidential election Off-year elections (congressional elections in years with no presidential election) are even worse http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/turnou t.php